AARP Oregon and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are working together to bring Oregonians an Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge. Youth and older adults have similar needs when it comes to navigating our streets on foot. Whether a second grader is walking to school, their grandfather is walking to the corner store with their shopping trolley, or their aunt is walking to the park to socialize – we need accessible destinations, continuous paths, and safe crossings.
We’re pleased to announce the following recipients have been selected for the Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge:
Just Walk Salem Keizer: Conduct an intergenerational walk audit
Just Walk Salem Keizer & Stephens Middle School (Salem-Keizer School District)
Just Walk Salem Keizer (a grassroots network of neighborhood walking groups) will engage at least two groups of middle school students and older adults in working together to develop at least 1 walking route each that highlights the points of health in their neighborhood. The groups will cross-check the routes by conducting the Walkable America ‘walkability checklist’. Once finalized, the walking routes will be included in a full-color “WanderWalks” pocket map printed by our transit provider, Cherriots, and distributed to neighbors through community partners. This project aims to foster healthy neighborhoods through identifying safe and enjoyable places to walk together.
Age Friendly Gilbert Park Partnership
Ride Connection & Gilbert Park Elementary School (David Douglas School District)
Older adults will volunteer to serve as “Coaches” for school age crossing guards. Gilbert Park students must use one of two busy arterials to access their school and frequently encounter speeding cars. The school age crossing guards are often at risk if they fail to gauge car speeds and distance and enter the street too late. Older adults can be part of the solution by “coaching” the school age children to make safer decisions about when to enter the street to signal for crossing. In addition, these volunteers can be engaged in further Safe Routes projects and programming as the overall Safe Routes project for this school site is developed.
Crooked River Walking School Buses
Crook County Public Health & Crooked River Elementary School (Crook County School District)
This fall, Crooked River Elementary School had its first successful Walk to School Day, with nine official volunteers and more than 70 students participating. We hope to build on this success by offering walking school buses each week this spring. We will be partnering with the local Soroptimist Senior Center in order to foster relationships between our community’s older adults and younger families, create a sustainable volunteer base for the walking school bus program, and promote a larger community conversation about walkability for everyone in our rural town. This grant would be used towards promotional materials, healthy snacks, and incentives.
Read more about the challenge rules, and watch this space for updates as these projects are planned and unveiled in 2017!